I'm still lingering in the upper room. Arrested by the weight of the love and grace that Jesus offers in these moments.
Love and grace that is fatally and tragically rejected.
Again, we have the benefit of viewing these passages from the other side of the events that were to take place. We know what Jesus knew and what the disciples did not.
Betrayed by a kiss.
From the moment Jesus fashioned him in the womb He knew His betrayer. Yet the fact that the disciples didn't suspect Judas suggests that Jesus showed him no less mercy, no less love and no less grace than any of the others.
This man walked with our Lord! Saw the depth of His compassion and mercy day after day. And yet was compelled to betray Him for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave.
How could this happen?
I have my own theory about how dipping into the money bag hardened Judas' heart to spiritual things over time. [John 12:6] Scripture has many warnings that we should heed in this regard.
The ultimate tragedy is that Judas could have turned to Jesus in his remorse, but he did not. [Matt 27:3-5] (Maryleigh posted a wonderful piece here on the difference between Judas and Peter)
"Judas Iscariot symbolizes wasted opportunity, rejected grace, and unaccepted love. Fatal choices all." Bill Crowder, The Path of His Passion [click to tweet]
Grace, wrapped in a piece of lamb, bitter herbs, and a radish.
We see John 13:26 as the unmasking of the traitor. But Jesus meant it quite differently. In the tradition of the Passover meal, the first piece of dipped "sop" was given to the guest of honor!
Grace freely offered.
Beyond the shouts of "Hosanna!" we hear the echoes of, "Crucify Him!"
It was not Judas Iscariot who sent Jesus to the cross.
It was each one of us. But the darkness of that truth cannot overwhelm us.
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luk 23:33-34)
For we are forgiven. Washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. The unmerited favor of our Lord.
In the coming week, as we walk the final steps with Jesus to the cross, as we try to identify in the darkness and pain of His rejection, let us hold fast to the Light of His Grace. . .
. . . and grace will lead us home.
Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement,